BAYES. Alack, sir, you know nothing. You 130 must ever interlard your plays with songs, ghosts, and dances if you mean to -- a --
JOHNSON. Pit, box, and gallery, Mr. Bayes.
BAYES. 'Y gad and you have nicked it. Hark you, Mr. Johnson, you know I don't flatter; a 135 gad, you have a great deal of wit.
JOHNSON. O Lord, sir, you do me too much honor.
BAYES. Nay, nay, come, come, Mr. Johnson, i' faith this must not be said, amongst us that have it. I know you have wit by the judgment you 140 make of this play, for that's the measure I go by -- my play is my touchstone. When a man tells me such a one is a person of parts, 'Is he so?' say I. What do I do but bring him presently to see this play. If he likes it, I know what to think of 145 him; if not, your most humble servant, sir, I'll no more of him upon my word; I thank you. I am clara voyant,1 'y gad. Now here we go on to our business.
Enter the two Usurpers, hand in hand.2
USHER. But what's become of Volscius the great? His presence has not graced our courts of late.
PHYSICLAN. I fear some ill, from emulation sprung, Has from us that illustrious hero wrung.
BAYES. Is not that majestical? 5
SMITH. Yes, but who a devil is that Volscius?
BAYES. Why, that's a prince I make in love with Parthenope.
SMITH. I thank you, sir.
CORDELIO. My lieges, news from Volscius the Prince. 10
USHER. His news is welcome, whatsoe'er it be.
SMITH. How, sir, do you mean -- whether it be good or bad?
BAYES. Nay, pray, sir, have a little patience! Godsookers, you'll spoil all my play! Why, 15 sir, 'tis impossible to answer every impertinent question you ask.
SMITH. Cry you mercy, sir.
CORDELIO. His highness, sirs, commanded me
to tell you
That the fair person whom you both do know, 20 Despairing of forgiveness for her fault, In a deep sorrow, twice she did attempt
Upon her precious life; but, by the care
Of standers-by, prevented was.
SMITH. 'Sheart, what stuff's here!
CORDELIO. At last, 25 Volscius the great this dire resolve embraced:
His servants he into the country sent,
And he himself to Piccadillé went;
Where he's informed, by letters, that she's dead!
USHER. Dead! Is that possible? Dead!
PHYSICIAN. O ye gods! Exeunt. 30
BAYES. There's a smart expression of a passion -- 'O ye gods!' That's one of my bold strokes, 'y gad.
SMITH. Yes, but who is the fair person that's dead? 35
BAYES. That you shall know anon, sir.
SMITH. Nay, if we know it at all, 'tis well enough.
BAYES. Perhaps you may find too, by and by, for all this, that she's not dead neither. 40
SMITH. Marry, that's good news indeed. I am glad of that with all my heart.
BAYES. Now, here's the man brought in that is supposed to have killed her. (A great show within.)
Enter AMARYLLIS with a book in her hand; and Attendants.
AMARYLLIS. What shout triumphant's that?
Enter a Soldier.
SOLDIER. Shy maid, upon the river brink, Near Twick'nam Town, the false assassinate Is ta'en.
AMARYLLIS. Thanks to the powers above, for this deliverance! 5 I hope its slow beginning will portend A forward exit to all future end.
BAYES. Pish, there you are out! 'To all future end?' No, no -- 'to all future end': you must lay the accent upon 'end,' or else you lose the con 10 ceit.
SMITH. I see you are very perfect in these matters.
BAYES. Aye, sir; I have been long enough at it, one would think, to know something.
Enter Soldiers dragging in an old Fisherman.3
AMARYLLIS. Villain, what monster did corrupt thy mind 15 T'attack the noblest soul of human kind? Tell me who set thee on.
FISHERMAN. Prince Pretty-man.
AMARYLLIS. To kill whom?
FISHERMAN. Prince Pretty-man. 20
AMARYLLIS. What, did Prince Pretty-man hire you to kill Prince Pretty-man?
FISHERMAN. No; Prince Volscius.
AMARYLLIS. To kill whom?
FISHERMAN. Prince Volscius. 25
AMARYLLIS. What, did Prince Volscius hire you to kill Prince Volscius?____________________